I’m a pedestrian at heart. I honestly adore walking the city, rain or shine, an activity that’s either incredibly brave or crazy stoopid. Because, to my great regret, I’m equipped with the motor skills of a roaring drunk. For me, an afternoon stroll is nothing short of daredevilish, á la Evel Knievel. It’s just plain dangerous.
But that’s neither here nor there. My fondness has nothing to do with health or fitness and everything to do with sanity. There’s something soothing about a long, rambling walk, it’s equalizing in a way nothing else is. I don’t know how or why, but walking seems to calm and focus my mind. Thoughts stop pinging around my noggin, crashing and interrupting and elbowing each other out of the way and they start making sense. You could say walking works the same way as clearing the cache on a computer— for me, anyway.
In a nutshell, I find a brisk walk very therapeutic.
However, post-pandemic, the joy has gone missing. Sidewalks aren’t sidewalks anymore. They’ve become just another lane of traffic, clogged with bicycles and motor scooters and carts, utility vehicles. Pedestrians, being non-motorized, are forced to scramble out of the way. I don’t want to scramble. Ever.
And for this lunacy I blame cars. Or, to be more specific, the drivers of those cars. They’re nuts! They run red lights, pass in No Passing lanes, speed, text on their phones, eat their lunch, apply their make-up, shave, swerve, veer, play air guitar with speakers blaring, everything but pay attention. So the putt-putters — the carts and motor scooters and bikes — seek refuge on the sidewalk, which leaves bipeds (folks like me) with no alternative but to leap for safety when confronting a wheeled contraption.
So, in self-defense, I plan to launch a Go Fund Me campaign to finance a nice, low mileage, used tank to take back the sidewalks for all of pedestrian-kind. Wish me luck.
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